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Leveraging Social Media

Lloyds TSB, official partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, is the largest internet bank in the UK with nearly five million regular users.

However, despite such a large online customer base, like many other UK banks until 2011 Lloyds TSB didn’t have a truly active Facebook page. Our partnership with London 2012 proved a catalyst to create one, and alongside YouTube and Twitter, Facebook is at the heart of our communications activity around the Games (www.facebook.com/lloydstsblondon2012).

‘Your Games, Your Journey’ is our social media-led 2012 campaign, giving customers opportunities to get involved and helping make the Games locally relevant to them. Built around Facebook and integrated with our torch relay microsite on www.lloydstsb.com, we’ve invited customers to:

  • Upload their photos of the relay and Games for their chance to win tickets and money-can’t-buy experiences with Team GB, supported by a national branch and media campaign
  • Make Olympic history and break a world record by tagging themselves in ‘Lloyds TSB Torchview’ – what we hope will be the world’s longest tag-able photo
  • If they’ve visited Lloyds TSB’s torch relay evening celebration event, download, tag and share their photo with the Olympic torch on Facebook.

Servicing and engaging with customers alongside communications is important. I learnt some years ago that a customer complaint is an opportunity to create a customer advocate, and we’ve applied the same approach to social media. For example, in 2011 we successfully used a ‘Twitter Day’ to launch our Torchbearer campaign, with #carrytheflame reaching more than 215,000 Twitter users and trending in London.

However, another value of Twitter was shown when we saw people tweeting disappointment at not being selected to be Torchbearers in our random draw. This led us to call them all and explain the process, offer our sympathies, and explain that simply being nominated was an achievement in itself. Everyone who we spoke to was grateful for the call and thanked us – showing how social media can be seamlessly integrated into customer servicing and the customer relationship.

Is social media delivering value for us? The acid test will be in the advocacy, net promoter and brand metrics post-Games, however early indications are encouraging. We’ve seen a trebling of our Facebook likes, and good early responses to Torchview. Monthly traffic to our Games website has more than doubled to 200,000 since the start of the relay, and we’ve had 1.5 million unique visitors in the last 12 months.

What has captured customer imagination the most so far is our daily torch relay video highlights, hosted on YouTube and posted daily on www.lloydstsb.com/olympictorchrelay, which capture the stories, emotions and context of the Torchbearers, their families, and the crowds on the relay. It’s a reminder that no matter how good your social media strategy, quality of content is still king.

I expect the greatest opportunity and challenge after London 2012 will be for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and major event owners: how to allocate social media within and across category rights to better realise commercial value, and much more importantly, how to integrate and leverage social media with broadcast rights, enabling broadcasters around major events to reach new audiences, particularly in the developing world, generating additional revenue streams.

The IOC’s current auction of UK broadcasting rights, and open challenge to the exclusive role of the BBC, is just the start of this process.

Gordon will be discussing Lloyds TSB’s Olympic sponsorship at SportBusiness Group’s Sports Marketing 360 conference at the end of September. He will be joined by Mike Sharrock (Partnership Director, London 2012, BP), Suzi Williams (Group Marketing and Brand Director, BT), Mark Osikoya (Head of Olympic Sponsorship Assets, London 2012, Coca-Cola) and Nathan Homer (Olympics Project Director, P&G). For more information visit www.sportsmarketing360.com

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